Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Landon’s Ark

Before continuing south we spent two days in Prince Rupert taking care of chores including changing the engine oil, grocery shopping, laundry, and topping off with fuel.  While at the docks we met a couple from Westbay, Rhode Island.  They had shipped their boat to Victoria B.C. from back East and were looking forward to cruising Southeast Alaska.  Coincidently their boat is a DeFever which they named “Got the Fever.”  We exchanged contact information and they departed heading north but I had this nagging feeling that they would soon be back.  Sure enough, they arrived back at the Prince Rupert docks a few hours later; one of their Ford Lehman engines stopped running which they said had happened once or twice before but they were able to restart it again.  Since we have John Deere engines the only suggestion we had was that it might be a defective solenoid or servo with a valve that’s intermittently closing off fuel flow.  We also mentioned that they could have parts flown from Fisheries Marine Supply in Seattle to Ketchikan, Alaska if needed.  
Cruise Ship emerging from the Fog Bank
We assume they were able to start the engine again since they headed out across “Dixon Entrance” for Ketchikan, a town that has more resources available for engine repairs and supplies.  The following morning we made our way southward through banks of fog and heavy rain down a series of channels starting with Inverness Passage, then Telegraph Passage, and then the 45-mile long Grenville Channel which is the waterway equivalent of the I-5 corridor – the main route of the “Inside Passage” to and from Southeast Alaska.  Emerging from the fog bank in Grenville Channel was a large cruise ship; of course we saw him coming on our Radar and AIS so we moved off to the side, giving him plenty of room.  It’s always a little unnerving knowing something that big is headed towards you. 

We finally made our way to the end of Grenville Channel terminating at Wright Sound and anchored for the night in “Coghlan Anchorage” located near the Native boardwalk village of Hartley Bay.  Unfortunately it was quite windy through the night with gusts between 23-35 knots.  The anchor was set well in the mud but it was a rather sleepless night.  Leonard slept on the bunk in the pilothouse and I slept on the settee (couch) in the salon so we could hear the anchor alarm if it were to go off; this arrangement also eliminated having to listen to the waves slap against the bow of the boat which can be heard from our stateroom. 
We managed to get a few hours of sleep and were ready to leave the next morning by 6:20am.  We had another series of channels to follow starting eastward through McKay Reach, then southeast along Fraser Reach, south along Graham Reach, southeast through Hiekish Narrows, and finally south down Finlayson Channel.  
Big Boat, Bigger Falls
The rain did not letup and continued its deluge throughout the day – like Noah’s Ark in the great flood, only Noah didn’t have windshield wipers like the Ark of Landon. 
The waterfalls were gushing down the mountainsides and thundering into the canals, an awesome sight.  From Finlayson Channel we turned east through Jackson Pass and anchored at 5pm in Rescue Bay located at the east end of the Pass.  The rain continued but the anchorage was calm and sheltered us from the wind.

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